One of my (many) hobbies is knitting. I enjoy the repetition, the act of creating something delicate and utilitarian from practically nothing, and the fact that a work in progress can be easily toted along to keep my hands busy while in waiting rooms or the like. Plus, there are no batteries involved, nothing needs recharging, and there is no need to search for a wifi signal.
It’s interesting to recall the comments I’ve heard in regards to this hobby. I’ve been complimented by older women for my ability to create something so delicate as it’s “not common” anymore… and I’ve heard moms explain to their toddlers: “she’s knitting, like Nana does.” It’s also interesting to note how while my fingers are engaged in knitting, I’m free to observe and listen whatever unfolds around me.
While “engrossed” in my knitting, I notice a lot of people hypnotized by smartphone screens. There are always moms messaging and skimming Facebook or Pinterest posts while their kid is swimming in the class next to my child. And I wonder — what happened to being content with where you are, when you are? Sometimes I do set down my knitting, pause what I’m doing, to make sure I’m not accidentally taking myself away from where I’m at — but in general, even though I look busy, my mind is actually engaged with what’s going on around me.
Here’s my latest project – a lace wrap I test-knit for the Wearable Art Emporium (Linda has some lovely patterns — if you are into knitting, I suggest you check her stuff out). Skim a little further down this post for more images of the wrap, my poem, “A Lost Art,” and my Pinterest board for all things related to crochet + knitting.
A Lost Art
My needles click calmly as I knit
click, click, click, click…
a calming metallic repetition
that reminds my son of
a train engine on the tracks.
On resting rows, my needles fly
faster than fast — purling incessantly.
Then I return to the right side,
begin again the intricate pattern.
The clicking needles slow
to a pace that is calmer and more deliberate.
Don’t drop a stitch, don’t skip a row.
Aside from following my pattern,
my mind is free to wander —
to be otherwise engaged
while my fingers keep busy
passing yarn over needles, again and again.
The repetition is calming, even peaceful.
My stress melts away in the calming
process of creating something
from a simple skein of yarn.
My project takes shape slowly,
even I am unsure how it will turn out
until it is finished.
In this age of technology, my mind delights
in something so simple, so tactile and physical.
I am joined to generations past through
my knitting as I keep a forgotten skill alive.
This lost art is intriguing, ever challenging.
Each new project both challenges and calms me.
My low-tech creative outlet may seem
antiquated, obsolete, unnecessary,
but it brings me relaxation, inspiration —
provides an escape from this high-stress,
fast-paced world in which we live.
Knitting and Crochet Resources
Here are a few resources for you if you’re interested in learning to knit or crochet. Or if you just want to be inspired for your next project. Links below will open in a new window for your convenience.
- How to Russian Join (my favorite way to start a new skein)
- Hiya Hiya Circular Interchangeable Needle Set(*) – my favorite needles
- Learning How to Knit: Resources for Kids and Grownups too
- Ravelry.com – great site for free and paid patterns
- 50 Must Try Simple Knitting Patterns
- How to Teach Yourself to Crochet
What About You?
Do you have any favorite patterns or projects to share? Do you prefer to knit or crochet? Or, have you always wanted to learn? I’ve shared photos of a really complicated pattern here, but many projects are quite easy and good for beginners — such as scarves, dishcloths, and even granny squares. What are your favorite projects for beginners?